Ramona’s 2001 debut
April 19, 2001
Raymond Kurzweil will present his female alter ego, Ramona, a virtual performing and musical recording artist and Web avatar, to the music industry on April 21 at 11am, 2001, at the New York Music and Internet Expo at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Ramona is a virtual performing and musical recording artist whose voice and movements are provided by Kurzweil and transformed in real time using motion capture, advanced computer graphics and audio processing systems.
Ramona is also an avatar on www.KurzweilAI.net, where conversational software and other technologies enable Ramona to hold conversations with visitors and respond to typed questions with lip-synched speech and lifelike, real-time facial animation.
To dramatize his vision of the powerful possibilities offered by virtual reality and artificial intelligence, in his keynote, Kurzweil plans to show videos of Ramona performing two songs — Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and “Come Out and Play,” a new composition by Ramona (Kurzweil) and Zoux, Kurzweil’s musical collaborator. Kurzweil also will present the documentary video The Making of Ramona.
“Virtual performing and recording artists will transform the music industry during this next decade, just as virtual instruments such as synthesizers did during the last decade,” says Kurzweil, a pioneer in musical synthesizer technology.